LONDON May 6 Chris Patten, the last British
governor of Hong Kong, quit as the head of the BBC Trust on
Tuesday due to ill health after three turbulent years overseeing
Britain's public broadcaster.
Patten, a senior figure in Prime Minister David Cameron's
Conservative Party, said he would resign with immediate effect
following major heart surgery.
"The BBC is a huge national asset which is part of the
everyday fabric of our lives," he said in a statement which also
detailed his health issues. "It is not perfect - what
institution is? It always needs to challenge itself to improve."
The BBC Trust oversees the publicly-funded state
broadcaster, setting the strategy and holding executives to
account, and Patten was in charge during some of its lowest
periods - including a child sex scandal that rocked the world
As the broadcaster sought to recover from the revelation
that Jimmy Savile, one of its biggest stars of the 1970s and
80s, was a prolific child sex abuser, it aired false child sex
abuse allegations against a former politician.
That resulted in the-then Director General George Entwistle
resigning just two months into the job. He was replaced by Tony
Hall who has pledged to refocus the world's largest state-funded
broadcaster on its core values - to inform, educate and
Patten, who took up the post in May 2011, was due to stand
down in April 2015. The government will now choose a successor.
(Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)